April 7, 2010
I LOVE SOWETO
Ek se! Wat se daar? Mjojo! This might sound impolite, but that greeting is filled with lots of what we call “Ubuntu”. The spirit of Soweto. In all its glory: Soweto is the place to be now; the epitome township of South Africa. Slowly shifting into the city zone; it’s the fastest growing township in the world. From any corner around the world: if you come to South Africa: besides Cape Town; you need to pass by Soweto.
Originally: South Western Townships; the original idea about it was to seclude black people from Joburg( possibly from the world) & therefore segregating the people further according to clans. Sotho’s were placed in a specific place, so was the Tswana’s, Zulu’s, Shangaan’s , etc. Therefore came around places like Klipspruit, Orlando, Diepkloof, Dube, White City(mzimhlophe), Mzimhlophe( White City), Mofolo, Zola, Emdeni, Mapetla & Dobsonville to name a few. With the different cultures & languages: this township was to become, known by many, for its multi greatness. All this came about during the apartheid regime, white supremacy that suppressed the black Africans in their own native land. This all was the peak of history in the making after the World wars.
Unknowingly it brought about change of mind sets of our people & the world at large. Voices were heard & the eyes of many saw. The voices that cried for freedom & the eyes that cried for the suffering of its own people. Greatness was yet to come from this special place. The greatness of Richard Maponya, Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo & the late Dr Motlana; in business & freedom fighting. On the other side of this beautiful nation there was music; which was a great reliever by Brenda Fassie, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Sipho “Hotsix” Mabuse. These people were the savours of this place & they set the platforms/foundations for many of us to build upon for the future. Many followed them & followed in more admirations to build this town further than anticipated by the apartheid regime. More than 30 years later into recognition; this place has grown & surpassed every expectation had upon it. The future was born. From spinning cars of road rage art, fashionable pantsulas in dance mode that freed Sowetans from the american social stigma. Its a place that welcomed the world’s influence, it embraced everything that the world had to give & it gave what the world try so much to take from it.
Now we eating our hearts out in restaurants like Nambitha, Sakhumzi & Wandi’s set right in the centre of this ever rising location. A still to be contested clothing store called THESIS Concept Store; which has been shifting boundaries of fashion & youth culture to a maximum stretch. As done in Europe: youth & art development is very conceptual & building its own stage in the world. Township terror of skaters, designers(fashion & graphics respectively), graffiti artists, djs, music producers, film makers, dancers, singers, hip-hop artists, make- up artists, fine artists, pottery artists, entrepreneurs & writers. Urban evolution at its best from all creative art forms greatness is being bred.
Black or white we are now united & welcoming, today we holding no grudges; we just holding ideas & in need to work together to produce. This is why I love Soweto, for its history, culture & change. Its the world in a township....